The rich heritage of the U Street neighborhood comes alive with a few simple names: Duke Ellington (who was born here), Cab Callow, Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie. These are just a few of the famed African-American performers who turned U Street into a popular entertainment destination in the early 20th century.
Today, U Street is once again a thriving area, rivaling the hip, fun scene found in Adams Morgan. Try Ethiopian food at Little Ethiopia, take in an up-and-coming band or famous national act at the 9:30 Club, then swing by Ben's Chili Bowl for the city's signature dish — the Chili Half-Smoke.
Nearby is Columbia Heights, a diverse community rising from a once troubled neighborhood that struggled to recover from riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Today, redevelopment of the whole area is well underway and cultural attractions abound. Shopping and dining options are flourishing and the GALA Hispanic Theater offers shows in Spanish and English.